Members of several black fraternities and sororities are at the Capitol Monday to draw attention to economic and educational disparities in the state.
Organizers of the event say they want African-Americans and others to encourage their legislators to work toward closing gaps between black and white Minnesotans.
Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, said one of the most stark disparities is in unemployment.
"In 2011, over 20 percent of African-Americans were unemployed, compared to 6.5 percent of whites," Hayden said. "This is one of the largest disparities in the nation. And we need to take steps to reduce this disparity in order to level the playing field and set African-Americans up for success."
Gov. Mark Dayton didn't attend the opening ceremony for the event, but issued a proclamation calling Monday African-American Greek Day in the state of Minnesota.